An excerpt from Nate’s Palm Sunday sermon, “Two Parades”

An excerpt from Nate’s Palm Sunday sermon, “Two Parades” (this was not the title listed in the bulletin, because he wrote it after he thought of the title. But this is the title now!). It was a dramatic monologue written from the perspective of a young Roman male, living in Jerusalem.

From “Two Parades”

The whole parade passed by so quickly.

Half an hour, maybe forty five minutes.

Then Yeshua was out of sight…

And we were left standing there with our dusty palm branches, in our undershirts.

Only later did I hear about some of the Pharisees and high priests, who intercepted him closer to downtown.

I heard about the strange word they used, to talk about his followers.

“Disciple.”

What was that, a “disciple”?

 

I went for a long walk, as the adrenaline wore off.

Finally, early that evening, I got back to my neighborhood.

 

I ran into my sister on the sidewalk, hanging out with her friends.

“Where’s your fancy cloak?” she teased me. “Why is your face so dusty?”

“Maybe he got into a fight,” one of her friends said.

“Maybe he gave it away to one of his girlfriends.”

 

I asked them if they’d gone to see Pontius Pilate’s parade. They had.

“It was just like last year,” she said.             

“Only, he seemed a little more nervous for some reason.

“So did the High Priests.

“And we counted more soldiers than ever.”

 

“And then, at the end of the ceremony,” she said…

“They wheeled a huge war chariot into the middle of the square.

Its cannons were loaded and pointed.

It had scars and dents from previous battles.

And dried blood you could see, still crusted on the wheels.

 

And they just left it there.”

*

It’s a few days later now. The middle of the week.

 

Our Jewish neighbors are in the middle of their festival.

You can hear the music, and smell the good food through the windows in the neighborhood.

 

And all the people I saw at Yeshua’s parade, we are back to our routines, more or less.

The mother is selling wares at the market.

The teacher leading classes. The beggar under the bridge.

 

And from what I hear, that war chariot still sits in the center of our city square.

 

I’ve been thinking about that strange word: disciple.

And when I remember back to what I felt on Sunday…

I wonder what it would take, for someone to call me that word.

 

Every day, I pass by more soldiers at the intersection.

And sometimes I see the Temple leaders talking with them.

Gesturing anxiously. Nodding.

Once, one of them noticed me watching. I got nervous for a second.

And then they saw I was a Roman. And they relaxed, and nodded at me.

 

There were two parades in my city that day.

I wonder, which one did I really attend?

 

And when I look around at the society in my midst…

My family. My friends…

My neighbors we have business with…

The children playing in the streets. Pretending to march like generals…

 

I wonder too, which parade are we part of, right now?

 

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Earth Day in Berkeley is a two-day series of events this year.  While the main deal is happening on Easter, the film fest continues on Monday, April 22.

There are films and a guest panel on Monday, from 6-9:30pm, at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley.  Tickets are $15 general and $10 student.  More information at BerkeleyEarthDay.org

Here’s an Approach to Global Warming that Makes Sense!

Citizens Climate Lobby is a grassroots, national organization that presents a path and solution to greenhouse gas emissions by working with both parties in congress.  How about that for unusual in today’s political arena?  We heard Mary Selkirk from CCL speak at ACC on April 12.  Mary is clear, committed to her work and the work of CCL; she presented a cogent argument for CCL’s mission and vision for the US.

Energy Innovation.png

By taxing carbon pollution at the source and then sending that tax back to every taxpayer, emissions can be reduced due to the negative incentive and economic growth happens simultaneously with more cash in individual’s pockets.  More information and details on how each of us can help:  www.citizensclimatelobby.org.

At-one-ment by Rev. Nate Klug

Dear friends,

As we get ready to move into Holy Week, I’m thinking about Jesus and what his work, and his death, and his resurrection, really means for our lives. Here’s a quote from Franciscan writer Richard Roh. He’s urging us to rethink traditional notions of sacrifice and salvation:

“Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity; Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.

This grounds Christianity in love and freedom from the very beginning; it creates a very coherent and utterly attractive religion, which draws people toward lives of inner depth, prayer, reconciliation, healing and even universal ‘at-one-ment,’ instead of mere sacrificial atonement.”

If Jesus really was God Incarnate come to earth, it’s hard to imagine he didn’t come to change all of us -- every last person. Are there moments in your life when you see this kind of reconciliation peeking through?

Join us this Sunday as we wave palm branches, and prepare ourselves for the Holy Week journey - one that takes us into the very depths of what it means to feel, to be alive, to suffer and to rejoice.

Serving with you,

Rev. Nate Klug

Fundraising for ACC

Fundraising for ACC

The “Scrip Project” is listed among the designated funds on ACC’s financial report.  This project has been a quiet little fund-raiser for many years; it currently has a balance of about $300.  Recently, the fund has been receiving about $5 per month, but those donations are drying up because Safeway and Lucky are not participating anymore.  Here are some alternative suggestions:

·       If you are an Amazon shopper, you can register with Amazon Smile to have a percentage of your purchases distributed to a charity of your choice (Arlington Community Church, of course!).  This can add up fast, especially if you do a lot of Christmas shopping on Amazon.

·       ShopwithScrip.com:  This program sells gift cards for a number of stores.  (Starbucks, Target, and Safeway are among the businesses shown on their website.)  A portion of the price of the gift card is donated to your charity.

·       eScrip.com:  The current name of the program we knew as Scrip.  There are some small chain stores registered with this program, but no major chains.  Arlington Community Church is still a charity registered with this program.

Do you know of other fundraising programs like these?  Drop a note to Nate, or Nina, or another Council member.

-        Sara Laferte

A Change of Pace

A Change of Pace

Dear friends,

Do you know any French? It turns out that the French word for “slow” is “lent” (no relation to the English word “Lent,” which comes from the Germanic). I always think of that ironic coincidence around this time of year, in our season called Lent, when life seems anything but slow.

Perhaps the value of the liturgical seasons comes not in the way the seasons correspond to our moods, but in the way they sometimes strike our lives at an angle. They intrude upon the ways we would otherwise live, rushing about, high on a dose of busyness, but really barely keeping our heads above water. In contrast, Lent asks us to slow down. 

And we want to, but we don’t always know how. Let me give you an example. I heard a writer talk recently about the way technology is changing our relationship to objects. Where in the past, we would seek out an object for a specific function -- a map, a record player, a typewriter -- now many of these functions are contained in one place: our smartphones. When we pick up our phones to use them, we forget which function we’re seeking. We become distracted by the news, or a text message, and life speeds up as we just try to sort out what we needed in the first place!

One antidote to this may be to become more intentional. More intentional about praying, more intentional about saying “No,” more intentional about structuring our days. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, in these last weeks of this “slow” season.

Wishing you God’s peace,

Rev. Nate